Virat Kohli senses India have their chance to seize the moment against England in Southampton.
As the tourists bid this summer to become only the second team in Test history to recover from a 2-0 deficit and prevail in a five-match series, Kohli indicated they will break with their own modern tradition here by naming an unchanged line-up.
We have gained momentum at the right time in the series and played like that when 2-0 down – when everyone thought that it is going to be a clean sweep, or we are going to be rolled over.Virat Kohli
The India captain confirmed Ravi Ashwin has recovered from the hip injury which troubled him during his team’s 203-run victory at Trent Bridge as they reduced their Specsavers series arrears to 2-1 with two to play.
In this fourth match of five, for the first time in 46 Tests – a sequence pre-dating Kohli’s tenure as captain, all the way back to Lord’s in 2014 – India are set to stick with the same XI.
Whether that does come to pass or not this morning, Kohli is confident his world No 1 team have a golden opportunity to consolidate their fightback.
“Right now we understand we are in a very exciting position,” he said.
“We have gained momentum at the right time in the series and played like that when 2-0 down – when everyone thought that it is going to be a clean sweep, or we are going to be rolled over.
“We understood ... it was just about capitalising on the big moments during the Test match ... making sure we are relentless and ruthless – which we did in Nottingham.”
Kohli is expecting a significant response from England, however, and is calling on a redoubled effort from his team-mates.
“If Nottingham was hard work, this is going to be even harder,” he said.
“England will want to come back strongly ... we understand we will have to be even better (than at) Nottingham.”
As for the likelihood of retaining the same line-up at last, he said: “It has not always been the case of changes ... there have been injuries as well. It has been a mix of both. Seeing the way things are right now, we don’t feel we need to change anything.”
India will resist any temptation to field an extra frontline spin option – Ravindra Jadeja alongside Ashwin – on a pitch currently tinged with green but expected to provide something for everyone.